05 March 2019
High-performance, resistant and durable, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) offer tremendous opportunities, in the field of electronics, particularly in automotive lighting. With a major technical expertise in the design and production of electronic boards, the Electronics activity of LACROIX has been working for more than 6 years to meet the LED lighting needs of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers.
With instantaneous ignition capacity, low power consumption and a lifetime equivalent to that of the vehicle, in just a few years LEDs have become the reference in automotive lighting. Initially reserved for premium vehicles, the technology has become widely available in recent years and now equips mid-range vehicles.
Compact, robust, LEDs display excellent light performance (up to eight times higher than incandescence).
LEDs also have the best environmental impact of lighting solutions: their average life span is 40,000 hours, with an 85% reduction in environmental impact compared to incandescent lamps. Finally, by drastically reducing energy consumption, LED headlamps allow automotive manufacturers to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions (-1.61g CO2/km compared to halogen headlamps). In 2013, as part of a study conducted by Audi on the environmental impact of LEDs, this technology was certified “eco-innovation” by the European Commission.
Thanks to their small size, LEDs offer new design possibilities, especially for headlamps. For the manufacturer, it is now a true visual signature. LEDs help to affirm the brand’s visual identity.
Recently, LEDs have opened up new perspectives in the field of automotive safety. Already present in headlights, stoplights and vehicle interior lighting, they are now being used to provide intelligent lighting. They are now found in new adaptive headlamps equipped with AFS technology (Advanced Frontlighting System), a device designed to adapt the angle and intensity of the light beam to the environment. A technology that is still evolving.
There is still a lot of room for technological progress. Tomorrow, the new headlights will be able to project information directly onto the ground, such as speed limits or the curve of a bend, or even alert the driver directly to the presence of a pedestrian on the road.
The Electronics activity of LACROIX anticipated the enormous potential of LEDs at an early stage. The company has constantly invested to support this fast-growing demand (+20% more production per year over the last three years). Anticipating the technical constraints associated with LED technologies is also crucial to satisfy increasingly demanding customers. The company is now a major player in automotive electronics subcontracting. Production is currently carried out in Tunisia and Poland, qualified IATF 16949 sites, for an annual volume of 280 million LEDs installed.
In order to meet new market challenges and anticipate future evolutions, LACROIX is accelerating towards Smart Industry. The group develops innovative automation and digitalisation processes, in a constant search for agility and competitiveness.
Driven by lower production costs, growing environmental concerns and the advent of intelligent lighting, demand for LEDs is expected to continue to accelerate in the coming years. By 2025, according to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global LED lighting market is expected to reach a record $109 billion.